Although bankruptcy is authorized by federal law, certain myths associated with this legal remedy continue to persist. The myths serve to perpetuate a negative stigma about bankruptcy in Pennsylvania and throughout the country; however, they are not based in reality. Unfortunately, the stigma will remain until consumers are better informed about the powerful features of bankruptcy that allow them to obtain fresh starts in their economic lives.
Every once in a while, the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania or another state marks the end of life for a cherished local tradition. It may be an ancient landmark connoting a significant historical event. It could be an old hotel that catered to the rich and famous, perhaps a favored watering hole and popular night spot, or a restaurant famous to the local people. Although few would like to see it close forever, there are no economic pathways that lead forward, and the announcement is made to close the doors via Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Most Pennsylvania residents are aware that one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy is the medical debt that follows a significant illness or injury. However, few understand just how the statistics supporting this claim are gathered. A recent article takes a closer look at how we determine which factors are behind the decision to pursue personal bankruptcy, and the measures in place to ensure that those numbers are accurate.
For Pennsylvania consumers who listed financial survival and economic improvement as a New Year's resolution, consideration of bankruptcy may possibly be timely. Any discussion of the topic usually first contends with its sinister image. However, when someone begins to learn the true facts about bankruptcy, the reality of it always looks a lot better than its legend.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves a payment plan, may stay on your credit record for up to seven years. On the other hand, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which discharges unsecured debt and doesn't seek to pay any of it back, may be reported for up to 10 years. Some Pennsylvania residents believe that they cannot get a mortgage to buy a home for at least that amount of time. The fact is, however, that they will often become eligible for a mortgage much sooner than the expiration of the reporting periods.
A Pennsylvania resident filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can usually eliminate all credit card and medical debt, while generally keeping all personal property and belongings. The federal exemptions are available to a bankruptcy filer in Pennsylvania -- they provide sufficient exemptions for most personal property, including autos, bank accounts, retirement funds, and home furnishings. There are limits in each category, but usually a consumer Chapter 7 filing does not result in the taking of personal property by the bankruptcy trustee.
Some people can survive under the pressures of missed bill payments and rude debt collectors. There are federal and state laws, including in Pennsylvania, that protect individuals from excessive harassment and unethical collection tactics. However, one type of event often motivates a consumer into taking action. It's a lawsuit filed by the creditor demanding payment, interests, penalties, and sometimes legal fees. The prospect of being sued and commanded to come into court often creates a compelling reason for a pressured debtor to file bankruptcy.htm">bankruptcy much more easily.
Medical bills continue to be a major problem for consumers nationwide, and in Pennsylvania. Although the Affordable Care Ace is supposed to implement caps on an individual's spending for medical expenses, most knowledgeable observers believe that the pressures of medical expenses on most Americans will continue. In particular, it is predicted that over half of all consumer bankruptcies will continue to reflect medical expenses as a major contributor to the debtor's problems. Fortunately, federal law provides for a resolution for most consumers: filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
After obtaining a bankruptcy discharge from a federal bankruptcy court in Pennsylvania or another jurisdiction, credit card offers may come unsolicited in the mail to the discharged debtors. As unlikely as that sounds, it happens because lenders are aware that a recently discharged Chapter 7 debtor has wiped out considerable debt and sometimes owes virtually nothing. The terms on are not as good as for those with excellent credit, but they are nonetheless real credit cards.